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Letter about RAF closures in Scotland

Sir, – I am writing as a local resident of Moray and the fiancée of an RAF Kinloss serviceman. I thought you may be able to air my concerns publicly so that hopefully the Government will be forced to answer them.

For Moray, the loss of the RAF is a devastating economic blow. It is one of the largest local employers, and the servicemen and their families bring a lot of money to the economy. RAF personnel usually have a good disposable income to spend in local businesses and in Inverness and Aberdeen. A lot of RAF families choose to buy homes here as many like to settle here with their families.

An exodus of RAF families is going to cause a crash in property prices, probably resulting in negative equity for homeowners. It also means local building firms are going to have no market for their new-build houses.

Local businesses used to RAF servicemen and their families enjoying eating out, drinking and shopping will be hit hard, and the impact will also be felt by Inverness and Aberdeen, which are the nearest big shopping centres to us.

As well as this obvious financial hit to the community, there will be problems to institutions and companies who rely on RAF wives to fill their positions. A lot of the local nurses and administration staff in local hospitals and GP practices are RAF wives. A lot of the schools will lose a large percentage of their pupils and will no doubt be forced to close.

Kinloss and Forres are going to become ghost towns and lose a lot of the skilled people necessary to everyday life. What plans does the Government have in the short term to help people out and in the long term to regenerate the area?

As individuals, this decision has devastated my partner and me. I am a coal miner’s daughter and have been brought up with a deep distrust of the Conservatives after destroying the pit village in which I was born. My home town has still never recovered.

However, I too fell for the idea that a change in the party in power might be beneficial for the country. Alas, I am now feeling like a leopard never changes its spots, they seem to have chosen an area, which a cynical person might say, was because it is an SNP area and are set to destroy it. If the rumours about Lossiemouth are true, then this area will be beyond crippled.

I feel the whole way the closure news was broken was disrespectful to the servicemen and their families. I found out five minutes before my partner on Internet news sites; he had to wait for David Cameron’s speech. Surely those working should have been told the news before everyone else?

Now several weeks on, we still have no idea what will happen to us. There is no news on postings in terms of timescale, how they will be decided etc. We are all stressed out and living in the fear of how bad our situation is going to get.

We bought our house three years ago; we were not entitled to quarters as we are unmarried and only live together. Now we are very worried about our house ending up in negative equity, if we can even sell it. Is the Government going to compensate those of us in this situation? After all, this was not us being reckless; this was us needing a roof over our heads and buying a modest house to suit our needs.It has now been confirmed that the traditional grants to help servicemen and families move when they are posted to a new base have been removed. With no financial assistance, this means if our house struggles to sell we will be forced to live apart. With my partner at a new base, presuming he is not made redundant, I will be forced to stay here and work, run a house and look after four dogs on my own. He will have to pay rent in new accommodation.

Is the Government’s aim to destroy families and force its loyal servicemen and their families into bankruptcy?

My partner has three years left till he has completed his 22 years, so usually would be placed on his final tour in the area where he plans to settle after leaving. Unfortunately, that might not happen so we could end up in crippling debt.

Just last year my partner was one of the RAF personnel invited to the Houses of Parliament as thanks for their service. He met David Cameron, who thanked them for their loyal service. Perhaps Mr Cameron would like to explain to us how destroying our lives like this is a thanks for 19 years of loyal service?

We only recently got engaged but now, instead of having the wedding I wanted, we are going to have a rushed ceremony at the local registrar’s office.

I want to know if the Government is going to compensate us for the loss of our houses or whether we are all expected to start our new lives with no home and owing the bank £50,000 or £60,000 for a house we no longer own. I gave up my life in England to support my partner in his career, and now the Government is removing all my security. For the second time in my life, I am living in a region destroyed by the Conservatives. – Yours etc,

http://www.northern-scot.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/10565/Nimrod_cancellation_is_a_devastating_blow.html

News story including the same couple

The couple, who have lived together for six years, only recently got engaged and have been forced to rush forward their wedding plans due to the uncertainty.

http://www.northern-scot.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/10556/Axe_falls_on_jobs_at_RAF_base.html

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Letter about RAF closures in Scotland

News story including the same couple

If anyone deserves special treatment, it is those who are willing to take the chance that they might be forced to risk their lives to implement policy that our elected governments have chosen to pursue.

While I am a free marketeer who believes that all economic agents should bear the costs of their decisions, I am realistic enough to believe that my doctrine will probably not become government policy.

Given this realism, I think that people in the armed forces should be at the front of the queue when it comes to government largesse. I have no idea how big the total LHA / HB budget is but I would be very happy to see a 30% chop with the savings being passed on to directly help families in the armed forces with housing, family support, rehabilitation, post armed forces career transition etc.

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If anyone deserves special treatment, it is those who are willing to take the chance that they might be forced to risk their lives to implement policy that our elected governments have chosen to pursue.

With all due respect, our armed forces are not forces of defence, they are forces of attack and all they do is invade faraway countries where they are regarded as an army of occupation, so that the top people at British Aerospace can earn a fortune.

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With all due respect, our armed forces are not forces of defence, they are forces of attack and all they do is invade faraway countries where they are regarded as an army of occupation, so that the top people at British Aerospace can earn a fortune.

As much as I dislike representative democracy and prefer direct democracy, under the current system we have implicitly told them what to do. My hope is that we eventually have more direct democracy which results in fewer (and preferably none) of our young people going off to far away lands and being killed, maimed or emotionally scarred when they return home while the owners of capital in the military / industrial complex earn outsized returns.

Until our democratic system changes, our armed forces deserve a level of support consistent with the potential sacrifices that they are being asked to make and should be at the front of the queue, well ahead of the "scroungers".

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I think generally that the armed forces are badly treated re housing but others eg on teesside where the main employer closes are also facing similar problems. Now if it is bankers who need help then it's a different matter and the government will ride to their rescue.

A windfall tax on BTL LLs would more than cover the cost of helping these members of the armed forces, eg increase the CGT % and remove the tax breaks on the mortgage interest. But too many VIs would be affected so it will never happen.

I should declare my VI. My son hopes to join the armed forces and attend Sandhurst when he finishes uni. He is in his second year now (and a very good athlete) and knows that he will potentially face difficult circumstances in Afghanistan or elsewhere while he is serving.

My view has always been that ex-military, ex-athletes and people who have studied at places like the OU while working are the best people to hire when they reach their early 30s.

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With all due respect, our armed forces are not forces of defence, they are forces of attack and all they do is invade faraway countries where they are regarded as an army of occupation, so that the top people at British Aerospace can earn a fortune.

attack is the best defence .....

it seems to me that British did a good job in Iraq -> Shia and Kurds in the government; elections; political process; strong new Iraq national army ....

Sounds like 1000x better than Russians in Chechnya or Chinese in Tibet ...

and surely a lot of UK pension founds own stocks in BAE ..... ????

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I bought woolworths shares three years ago when is the government going to pay for my losses after they failed to prevent the financial crisis?

Hopefully some time after they pay for the losses that our men and women in the armed forces have sustained in the last few years.

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As much as I dislike representative democracy and prefer direct democracy, under the current system we have implicitly told them what to do. My hope is that we eventually have more direct democracy which results in fewer (and preferably none) of our young people going off to far away lands and being killed, maimed or emotionally scarred when they return home while the owners of capital in the military / industrial complex earn outsized returns.

Until our democratic system changes, our armed forces deserve a level of support consistent with the potential sacrifices that they are being asked to make and should be at the front of the queue, well ahead of the "scroungers".

So you are saying that it is wrong that British with other NATO forces stopped the bloody civil war between Northern Alliance and Taliban and they should not start the democratic political process there ...

Perhaps Pakistanis and Iranis were also wrong to fight the Taliban ...

Hmm ...

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If anyone deserves special treatment, it is those who are willing to take the chance that they might be forced to risk their lives to implement policy that our elected governments have chosen to pursue.

While I am a free marketeer who believes that all economic agents should bear the costs of their decisions, I am realistic enough to believe that my doctrine will probably not become government policy.

Given this realism, I think that people in the armed forces should be at the front of the queue when it comes to government largesse. I have no idea how big the total LHA / HB budget is but I would be very happy to see a 30% chop with the savings being passed on to directly help families in the armed forces with housing, family support, rehabilitation, post armed forces career transition etc.

I agree with most of what you write. Also, I am surprised that co-habiting couples are not accorded the same rights to quarters as married couples. I think that is grossly unfair and cruel.

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If anyone deserves special treatment, it is those who are willing to take the chance that they might be forced to risk their lives to implement policy that our elected governments have chosen to pursue.

While I am a free marketeer who believes that all economic agents should bear the costs of their decisions, I am realistic enough to believe that my doctrine will probably not become government policy.

Given this realism, I think that people in the armed forces should be at the front of the queue when it comes to government largesse. I have no idea how big the total LHA / HB budget is but I would be very happy to see a 30% chop with the savings being passed on to directly help families in the armed forces with housing, family support, rehabilitation, post armed forces career transition etc.

It can be quite cheap for government to help the service men ... e.g. a free land with a building permission .... does not need to cost government anything ....

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With all due respect, our armed forces are not forces of defence, they are forces of attack and all they do is invade faraway countries where they are regarded as an army of occupation, so that the top people at British Aerospace can earn a fortune.

I agree with you, but that is hardly the fault of service men or women. The gov't makes such decisions.

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I thought you could collect an army pension after 22 years of service. That's what I've just read after briefly glancing into it.

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Everyone's a moaning, whining special case.

Tough.

why not? they are the real citizens. not like you or me .... :(

Edited by Damik

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Conversation at work a few years back

Topics included

Guy 1 Describing how he was lieing to the council that his 19 year old daughter who had just had a kid was being kicked out so they would have to house her.

Guy 2 Describing how his son was in the army in iraq and he had paid for his bullet proof vest as the army had not supplied it.

Something wrong somewhere.

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Conversation at work a few years back

Topics included

Guy 1 Describing how he was lieing to the council that his 19 year old daughter who had just had a kid was being kicked out so they would have to house her.

Guy 2 Describing how his son was in the army in iraq and he had paid for his bullet proof vest as the army had not supplied it.

Something wrong somewhere.

must be some Labour policy for sure ....

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must be some Labour policy for sure ....

Same thing has happend under both labour and torie, but then you would not remember the last tory govenment would you . So best not to comment.

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My view has always been that ex-military, ex-athletes and people who have studied at places like the OU while working are the best people to hire when they reach their early 30s.

I only have one experience of dealing directly with a guy who had left the services. He had been in since he was 17, left at 30 or so, and this was his 2nd job since coming out in that year. Complete fanny of an individual to start with. **** licked any manger in sight and talked down to everybody else he deemed to be on his level or below. He had a massive problem when people did not agree with him, and resorted to offensive name-calling very easily for which he got a grievance against him within 3 months and was lucky to keep his job, was suspended for two weeks 7\8 months later for snooping in another employees email, and also developed a low-level cleptomanic behaviour, but that's another story.

I wouldn't tar everyone with that brush, but when hiring now, if I were to be dealing with ex-forces I would be sceptical if they were straight out, and whilst I wouldn't hold them back, I'd see a 3 month trial as a neccesity.

footnote, by all accounts he chilled out over the years in terms of obnoxious behaviour and is still with the company, all be it in the same role he started in 7 years ago.

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Same thing has happend under both labour and torie, but then you would not remember the last tory govenment would you . So best not to comment.

are you saying that under previous Tories the welfare got out of control too ... ???? Can you please provide some backing for it ....

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are you saying that under previous Tories the welfare got out of control too ... ???? Can you please provide some backing for it ....

What I am saying is that neither Tory or Labour govenments have looked after x service personell. Or people and their familys while they are serving.

As for welfare getting out of control that has been brewing for the last 40 years and we have had more years under torie than labour during those years.

Edited by miko

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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